Recently moved to cloudflare, no speed improvements

Hey guys!

We have a wordpress site in pantheon that we recently switched the DNS over to Cloudflare.
We heard big things about speed improvements, but we haven’t really seen any significant improvements.
So what would you all recommend are the top things we should be enabling or configuring that will make a big difference to page load times?

We already have :
Polish enabled (Lossless and WebP)
AutoMinify everything
Brotli enabled;
TCP Turbo;
Rocket Loader;
Mirage enabled;

What are we missing?

Maybe stupid question but have you enabled proxy mode :orange: in the DNS section?

I personally would recommend “lossy” WebP as the difference is not really noticable with the pure eye and it saves a lot of data. And “Lossless” often is not able to gain any size-improvements and therefore it do not touch the file at all.

Consider enabling APO, that should increase the speed significantly. In your case, if you are the one reporting “no benefit”, I suspect it might be due to the assets of your page being already cached in your local browser and thus causing the difference to be minimal or nonexistent.

I should clarify, its not just my opinion that things are not quicker. We have New Relic, so I carefully monitored the difference before and after moving to cloudflare.

We are working on adding the APO plugin now, and we’ll try the lossy compression too.

APO will only work when site is proxied through Cloudflare, not only DNS.


I do see in our DNS setup that we have quite a few proxied URLs, including our main site URL.
Is that what you mean? Or is there somewhere else we set the proxy?

What specific New Relic metrics are you monitoring and comparing for ? Speed for what metrics ? Speed is relative to the test server/visitor and your origin server too. Have you checked other pagespeed testing tools ? I have a write up and link to other pagespeed tools you can test with too at WebPerf - PageSpeed - Google Page Speed Insights and Google Core Web Vital metrics | Centmin Mod Community Support Forums

To fully optimise you need to optimize 3 segments.

  1. segment 1 - connection between visitor and CF edge server i.e. CDN cache, WAF, Firewall, Page Rules, Mirage, Polish webP, HTTP/2, HTTP/3, CF Workers (i.e. custom/advanced caching) etc
  2. segment 2 - connection between CF edge server and your origin i.e. Argo, Railgun & Full SSL/ECDSA SSL certificates
  3. segment 3 - your origin server’s performance/optimisations i.e. web server, PHP, MySQL server optimisations and server hardware specs.

Cloudflare can only help for segments 1 & 2 for cached guest/non-logged based visitors. Now for Cloudflare CDN cache miss/bypass and logged in user for web apps like forums/wordpress performance is determined by segment 3. Cloudflare doesn’t cache HTML pages by default only static files . You need to specifically tell Cloudflare to cache HTML pages via page rules etc . So your slowness or ‘as before’ performance could purely be due to segment 3 factors related to your origin server itself i.e. web server, php and/or mysql database performance which need optimizing and/or better hosting if you are testing URLs which are CF CDN cache misses.

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you need Cloudflare proxy toggle set to “ON”: Managing DNS records in Cloudflare – Cloudflare Help Center

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Thanks for all that information! You’ve given me a lot to digest for sure!

So as far as new relic goes, I am just using their standard page speed metrics right now. And I was expecting the page speed to increase after implementing cloudflare.
But it looks like I still have some things to implement.

So we are looking at the cloudflare plugin for wordpress. That should be going in shortly. And i didnt know about the page rule for caching HTML, so I have implemented that in test environments for now, just to test. Then we’ll roll that out and see how that does.
We haven’t implemented the WAF yet, but I wouldn’t expect that to speed things up. Probably slow things down if anything?

And also thanks for those other page speed tools. I’ll look at those now. We are already using the core vitals test, lighthouse etc.

@yevgen it looks like we already have a lot of the DNS records set to proxied :

is that what you mean?

yep, APO should work then.

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